Sunday, December 23, 2001

I actually managed to survive the LA freeway experience. With my Dad in the car. I've not decided yet whether that helped or added to the challenge.

Wednesday, December 19, 2001

Christmas shopping happened yesterday after the dinner. I found something for everyone, inculding me...the Williams Sonoma "Harvest Market" plates I loved in the catalog were 1/2 price, putting them from extortionate to somewhat of a treat for myself. I don't intend to let them get banged up like my student days stuff though, I'd rather buy stuff I WANT to keep for years than whatever's cheapest.

Uh-oh, here comes the fog again, maybe I should head home before it's dark and foggy, rather than just foggy.

Random patches of fog on the way in to work today, sometimes the road was above the fogline, sometimes it was below it, as in, low enough for the fog to have blown over the top so dead ahead was clear, but above the light was hazy. Very unusual, but very San Diego too.

Tuesday, December 18, 2001

Yum yum yum yum yum. God help me, I'd forgotten just how good GOOD Italian food really is. Yay @ Dr Alberto Hayek for taking the lab out en masse for a sampler lunch.

Now I have to decide if it's really safe for me to go Christmas shopping on half a glass of wine and some delicious grub, I might be feeling just a little bit too good and end up buying the store! I'm still trying to figure out if it's appropriate for me to give gifts to some people, and if so, what the hell to get them.

*yaaaaaawn* nap time.


Friday, December 14, 2001

Just to clarify a bit, I wasn't having a bad day when I put up that last, just being struck by just how many of my friends have struggled with depression at one time or another in their (relatively) short lives. Of course, you could also say that since I suffer from bouts of anxiety disorder, I am more likely to feel some friendly bond with people who are prone to it too. Good point, but it's not just my friends I'm talking about, it's a documented trend.

K'wyn put it rather more sensibly than I tonight: for most of us the basic needs of food and shelter are pretty much taken care of, we don't have to hunt/gather food and keep off the sabre-toothed tigers, nor do we have to slave all day in the mines (at the risk of our own lives) to put food on the table. So we are caught up by more ephemeral essentials like "making something of yourself" and such like. I've read a similar analysis of why Freud came to belive that the whole world was sex-crazed. His patients were well-off Victorians, the only thing they were really deprived of was sexual freedom, so more often than not it became the seat of their neuroses.

OK, rant over. For now.

muah hah hah

Tuesday, December 11, 2001

They say that college, or the late teens/early 20s are the best time in your life. The times that you'll look back on from the lofty age of 40 and wish you were there again. I think "they" are talking complete bollocks.

Yet another fellow 20-something has revealed themselves to be recovering from a bout of depression that has lasted at least 3-4 years. That means that almost everyone I know of my own age has now had some form of depression or anxiety problem in the past 5 years. For some it's an ongoing struggle, and for others it's a "bad patch" that only lasts a few months in response to a specific incident in their lives. I've not quite figured out which I am.

Is it that we are a generation of weak willed whiners? Or is it that we are brought up expecting so much of life and of ourselves that the occasional dance with depression is utterly unavoidable? I find that my strongest fear is that of somehow messing up. "What have done now?" "I'm going to fuck this up" That kind of happy stuff. When I sit back and think about that it makes me wonder what image of life I'm trying to adhere to that I'm so afraid I'll get it "wrong". I'm not trying to be President, nothing of the kind; my honest goal is to be self sufficient and able to be useful to others more often than I am a burden to them.

Life is faster paced now; we have more knowledge stuffed into our heads by the age of 20 than our parents' generation did. Not just book learning, but seeing the reality of life in a way that was impossible 50 years ago because there was censorship on television programs. I'm not saying that our parents are uninformed mind you, but how many of them were shown images of people dying of AIDS in Africa to scare them off having sex at age 14?

In so many ways my generation has grown up in a war zone. Even those in peaceable nations. We are surrounded and bombarded with images of war. Children starving, political prisoners of conscience with terrible torture scars, terrorists blowing up a subway station or a shopping centre. An ordinary civilian can now see almost as much as the soldier on the front line. Of course it lacks the immediacy of direct experience, but it is harrowing nonetheless.

If you refer back to my response to the terrorist attacks of September 11th , I talked about how commonplace horror has become to us. However, a couple of hundred years ago, there would have been dead and dying homeless people lying out in plain view right outside my former university, and we would have walked right past. We put a higher value on the individual's life now, and the price we pay for that is to expect much from every individual. On the surface it seems as though we are destroying ourselves with technology and information, but if the internal struggles are a symptom of every single life being irreplaceable and important, making us feel pressure to excel in some unique way, I think it's not so bad after all. As long as we know that it's more unique and outstanding to be a peaceful, contented person and raise a happy family than it is to lead a country or invent a new weapon.

I got me wheeeeeeeeeeells!

From the dealership on Encinitas Blvd, a 92 Ford Escort with really low mileage (55k). YAY not having to take the bus.

Friday, December 07, 2001

Hrmmm, first viewing of potential car yesterday. The guy seemed like a wheeler-dealer (no pun intended), the car had a NEW scratch on the driver's door, which I suspect HE caused, the tires were worn way down, and had never been rotated, the milage was twice what I'm looking for in a '95, the seatbelt warning beeper kept going off randomly while I was driving. But even with all that, the engine seemed to be in really good condiiton. Very strange mix of good/negligent care of the car. The real clincher (besides the electric problem and the driver's window being stuck 3/4 up) was the total and utter lack of service records. All he knew was that the previous owner had washed it in holy water regularly. I kid you not. Maybe that's another reason why it just didn't feel like a "me" car: overzealous christian engine-blessing in lieu of proper maintenance.

The search continues. Even though I know it would be a big risk to commit myself to buying a new car, it's starting to be more and more appealing, the whole not buying someone else's problems thing. Hey-ho, I'll keep looking. There isn't a new car out that I REALLY want and can afford anyway. Maybe when the Matrix has been out for a couple years I'll look into it.
Why autopilot doesn't seem to make the slightest bit of difference after all
1.DNA wasn't really needed asap anyway.
2. Three ml of 1M ammonium dind't make much difference in a litre of buffer solution, the western blot SEEMED to work ok.

Thursday, December 06, 2001

Why Autopilot isn't a good thing when still settling into a job
1. Trying to extract DNA in the cold room instead of at room temp
2. Re-pHing a buffer solution with ammonium ions instead of hydroxide ions (do you think they'll notice??)

And for my next trick...

Monday, December 03, 2001

I've been neglecting the blogging recently, but it's hard to get pensive at work when I shouldn't be spending long periods of time online anyway, and I'm not going on at home at all really. So it'll probebly be mere status reports until I get myself sorted out with my own machine, and it's own connection. IE, when we move into our new place (and I have money)

I passed my DMV driving test this morning, I feel SO much better now that's done, and I'm finding lots of Ford Escorts in my price range, it's what I've decided on as my best bet going be prices, what's available and reccomendations. With luck I may even be able to afford a '95 Escort Wagon AND a computer. Woohoo.

I'm off to learn tissue culture now.

Friday, November 30, 2001

Prayers for K'wyn, as always, but stronger for recent events' sake.
I came on to blog about the cool stuff in my life, like getting settled into the job and feeling like I'm finally finding my feet. But I'm having a negativity attack because I'km scared I won't pass my driving test on Monday, so I'm gonna stop before I whine way too much.

Wednesday, November 28, 2001


I just looked down at my garnet ring and one of the marcasites is gone. It's such a silly thing, but I'm really upset, I love this ring. I hope the others are more secure, I'm afraid to look into having the marcasite replaced, it'll prolly cost more than the ring did in the first place.

A friend of mine is about to have a baby. It's due on the 10th, but she's already having contractions, so maybe little Isabella is impatient. It's really exciting, I just wish I lived closer to Mon so that I could visit with her and take her flowers.

I admit that it would be scary if she were my own age, but she's 30, and already has a 5 year old, so even though we're good friends, it doesn't have the "Oh God, that could be me soon" feeling. I hope everything goes smoothly, she's been taking very good care of herself and has good docters, so she should be fine.

Tuesday, November 20, 2001

I met the mice today, they're cute. Poor little buggers. But the whole place is kept very clean, they're well looked after. I managed to avoid being bitten, buit it's only a matter of time.

Monday, November 19, 2001

Managed not to fall asleep at the confocal microscope, it helped that the imaging actually WORKED this time.
Heaven protect me from falling asleep in front of the confocal microscope. the combination of 3-4pm, working on 4 hours sleep, and a dark room with quiet machine humming sounds... = zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Lalalalalalalalaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Nothing WHATSOEVER for me to do today. I got in a few minutes late to get introduced to the mice. My co-worker actually gets the same bus in as me, only I missed the 7.35 one today and got the 8.40 one.

So I'm sitting here at the workstation trying to look busy while figuring out if it would be bad of me to say I've got some errands I can go take care of while I'm not needed...
To get to work an hour later, I still have to go out the door only 1/2 an hour later than on Friday. Might as well do the insanely early thing then.

Saturday, November 17, 2001

The grumble monster is giving me shit again. Tempting me to rename him "Guilt-Trip Man", with his sidekick "Mudslinging Boy" I'm beyond the stage of anger by a long way, and I find my main response to all this is to shake my head ruefully and go on to the next email. I'm sorry that it's not getting better, and I worry about how badly he must be feeling to lash out so frequently but is it really worth making any effort when I'm going to get shit from someone no matter what I do?

I will not always be consistant, and I won't always be able to put my feelings towards someone into words, I am after all (mostly) human, but I try very hard to make sure my actions don't contradict what I say. It would be dumb of me to say I don't feel comfortable giving someone the opportunity to have constant contact with me, then hand them my cell phone number. Yeah, sure, I can chose not to answer, but even repetative voice-mailing can feel like harrasment. I am trying really hard to be fair, but I can't ignore my own misgivings.

When it comes down to it isn't it up to me how I chose to behave? If I give every sodding person I meet my phone number, apart from one, that's my perogative. Not a very good one addmittedly, but I don't see why I should feel guilty for sticking to what I'm comfortable with. I reckon I'm allowed to keep some things private if I feel I'll be harrassed if I share. It could be paranoia, but it's paranoia fuelled by direct experience. Oftentimes known as "caution"

Just because I'm saying I'm hurt and afraid of being hurt more, it doens't mean no-one else is hurt, or allowed to be upset. All I can legitimately comment on is me, it's the only thing I have the most direct experience of. And knowing me as I do, I can guarantee that guilt tripping, accusations, hissy fits and pouting are not the way to my heart. In fact they've been pretty conclusively proved to be the most direct route OUT of my affections.

Maybe I'm only trying to be civil to assuage my concience after supporting him for five months against my better judgement, then leaving him to fend for himself with nothing to show for it but a nice apartment, a new bed and a car. Maybe I'm only staying in touch so I can get my money back. If I wanted it back that badly, I would have a lawyer already working on it.

Actions really do speak louder than words, if you say you don't want something, but take it anyway, it's obvious you want it, but were trying to convince yourself or others that you weren't greedy (or needy, as the case may be). If you say you want to stay, but then leave, you wanted to leave all along. If you say you want to be friends, and then grouch and whine and accuse when someone doesn't fulfil your expectations or requirements, you want a servant, not a friend. If you claim to respect someone then violate their privacy, you never respected them, or you don't know the meaning of respect. If you say you're hurt and resentful, but still make some attempts at contact, then maybe, just maybe it means you don't want to sever all ties and pretend the other person doesn't exist.

Right now it seems like whatever I do or say I will be accused of being underhanded and playing "mind games" I'm not controlled enough to play mind games for fucks sake. I made damn sure of that after experiencing a fair portion of mind games from "friends" years ago.

I read somewhere recently that you can assess a man's character by how he reacts to a woman, a child and a flat tire. It seems trite, but it's a good analagy. That little "test" can show how they deal with people who are generally percieved to be of a "different species" (thus drawing analagies to both sexism and racism), how well they relax and play while still being responsible with a small person, and how they deal with an annoying inconvenience. That's the crux here: dealing with adversity is the biggest test of a person's character. Whether you stomp and rage at a small setback, or smile and get on with it, your whole attitute to life is encapsulated in how you deal when things go wrong. Or even when they just don't go right. Especially when it's something small. Throwing a tantrum at something small is easily the biggest brightest warning light possible. Responding to misfortune with bitterness and accusations comes a close second.

I was extremely angery and bitter when I arrived in San Diego, the angryness dissolved quicker than I expected, and the bitterness only rears it's head infrequently. The worst thing left is the feeling that I have been foolish and not taken care of myself or my future. I hate helplessness more than anything, and I managed to impose it on myself AGAIN. Not good.

Now I am trying my best to establish myself as an independant being, the financial aspect of indepedance being the most important for now because you can never be truly emotionally independent unless you're a hermit. It's not easy to suddenly have so many more things on my plate to think about, but I'm surprising myself by not being terrified and running back to Mummy and Daddy. There've been ups and downs of course, but the majority of it has been me bieng frustrated at myself, and at things not taking off. Now they ARE taking off my priority is to keep them going and to keep myself from going back into a hole. Yeurp, my priority is ME, becasue if I don't look after myself then someone else will end up having to do it, and that's not fair on them.

If that's offensive, then so be it. I think it's a pretty good balance, because if I take care of me, I'll be better able to help other people take care of themselves too, rather than making it harder for everyone. You help no-one by being self destructive, especially those who care about you.

So, no, I'm not going to do absolutely everything I can think of to assuage the wrath of the grumble monster. I can't if I'm going to be a happy sane person, I need to feel safe from harrassment. The grumble monster demands respect, but respect cannot be taken or demanded, it can only be earned. I'm beginning to suspect that he would rather have pretended respect than actually earn the real stuff.
Yay Harry Potter Movie, very cool. Lots of great Brit actors who hardly ever come out to play nowadays too.

Friday, November 16, 2001

Stinky stuff stinky stuff, oh how I love thee stinky stuff... my first job today was to set up and start running a gel, with the STINKIEST marker substance possible. Very ammonia-heavy, and there was only about 3ml of the stuff. Imagine a whole litre of it!

So far everyone is very nice, a mix of nationalities, a couple of Aussies, one english guy, and at least 2 italians (the italians are the bosses) Besides taking notes on the science of it all, and where stuff is, I'm tempted to write down everyone's names, so I don't embarrass myself later!

Hah, my gel is nearly finished running, I'd better go have a look at it.
I hate APPLES!!! I enlarged the window and it bloody well decided to reload the page and LOSE the blog I'd already typed out. I couldn't post before doing it because the window was too small to get to the post and publish button. Now I can't get my blog page to load. Strange. I wonder if it's something to do with the ftp or something.

Thursday, November 15, 2001

I start work tomorrow. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

I'm really excited, and also nervous. Not looking forward to getting up and out that early though. With decent amounts of practice I should also be able to get my license in a couple weeks, so then I'll only have one stage left: purchasing a vehicle.

I've been running through lots of stuff in my head, but I can never remember it when I sit down to a computer. It's nothing big and scary, just filtering through the events of my life, the past year or so more specifically. At some point I'll prolly get round to typing it out.

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

I start work on Friday. Hello 7am bus.

If I ever saw an incentive to pass my driving test, it's the bus schedule. I'm contemplating calling the DMV and booking a test for 2 weeks time from now, but I need to find out what I'm doing about a car to take the test in, and about how it'll fit in with work. Meh, it'll work out.

Freeway driving. Eeeeeep. OK, it's not actually as terrifying as I thought my first foray into 60+mph traffic would be, but I was lucky, it was traf-FIC, not traf-FUCK.

I'm doing ok with all the principles, I just need more practice, I'll have to figure out a way to do that, and sort out what car I'm taking the test in. The guy that's teaching me will let you do the test in his car, but I have no idea when I'll be READY to do the test. The sooner the better, and I'm not far off really, I just need more driving time. Another thing: that "no hand over hand" thing they teach in the UK, it's CRAP, you make turns so much more smoothly by just moving one hand from one side to the other, no little push/pull movements. We finally figured out that was my biggest problem. Right turns too, because even though a left turn crosses traffic, I'm more used to making the car go to the left from learning in the UK and doing the "easy" turns there. I will try to subject Granny to my driving a couple times over Thanksgiving, that way I'll also be trying out a bigger car. Not exactly a land boat, but getting there.

As far as the rest of my life goes, I'll be very glad when I finally do have a car and I can do my own thing. It's not just that I know I'm getting underfoot and adding to the tension by my lack on independence, it's that the option of truly buggering off for a bit, going off for a drive, or just going somewhere for coffee by myself, isn't open to me, because to do that I have to cadge a ride, which defeats the purpose of me time. It's that whole house arrest feeling. I think it gets to me more because it feels too much like how I was in London, where walking to the local stores was fine, but if I tried to head out to the subway station to go into town prob=per, or into college, I was too panicky to even get to the end of my street. So even though this immobility is more from external sources, the echoes of my behavior when I was depressed make it worse than it really is sometimes. There's nothing that can change about it immediately, I'm doing the driving lessons and that's the way to go, it's just the most frustrating thing about not being fully mobile here. If it were only a question of getting to work, I'd be fine with the bus, it's cheaper, but going anywhere involves a car here.

It seems like no-one is happy with the status quo, usually being unhappy with something does bugger all to change it, but this status quo will not be quo for very long. Gargh, that's a horrible sentence. But you know what I mean. (hint: it's getting better all the time)
I went to the Gospel Choir concert last night, it was really enjoyable, Ken makes the audience not just be an audience, telling us to introduce ourselves to everyone sitting near us and stuff. It's a nice change from classical concerts where you're afraid to start clapping in case it's just the end of a movement, not the whole piece. K'wyn was nervous about her duet, but it sounded really good, I know how disorienting it can be to sing with a mic, add a big audience and a song you've had 6 days to learn and I'd see leaving the country as a better option than performing!

Monday, November 12, 2001

Yesterday was nice, I sat out in the back yard talking on my phone for a total of almost 2 hours. First was an old friend I'd all but written off, I didn't honestly think we'd ever really be in touch again. It's always nice to be proven wrong on those things. Then my parents called for the weekly update.

I even managed to sit out in the sun without getting burned, though my forearms do look a little browner, it's brown, not pink!

I just received an email from Dr Cirulli at the Whittier asking me when I want to start. So I HAVE A JOB!!

Which makes getting the driving license even more imperative, but till then there is the bus.

Friday, November 09, 2001


No particular reason, I just wanted to remind myself how to spell it.
Ah, Job update also: Aurora want someone with more experience. Scripps were just giving me a general interview so that they have more info on their files in case anyone likes the look of my resume. The Whittier has sent me an official application form, and that seems to be going promisingly. I'm not going to be happy until I have the contract in my hand though.
At what point did a car become such an important factor in my life? Oh...yeah...when I moved to CALIFORNIA!
The car verdict: second hand, preferably not much more than $4-5k. Yes it took me long enough to come round to the obvious answer, but I got carried away with the whole "I'm going to be earning" thing. Rosie needs reality checks now and then, and if I agree with em I won't be upset for having the obvious pointed out to me!

Wednesday, November 07, 2001

In many ways my position could be seen as roughly parallel to that of a recent divorcee, though I am much more fortunate than many in that situation. I don't have completely crap credit for one, I just have none. But I am learning to think of myself as an individual (again) and realising what's important to me. I also have the whole "newly graduated" life adjustment to make. No more exams and essays, now it's job seeking, flat seeking, and figuring out how I'm going to pay for it all...which leads back to job seeking. Once I get one of them sorted the others will become easier, though I'll have a few problems trying to buy a car with a blank credit history and no job!

I thought that I was doing well, and I guess realistically I am, but I didn't expect to be crying so much. I'm getting upset more often than I was even when I felt there was no going forward. It's a very different kind of crying though, it's just a way to vent the pressure, and the emotions that built up over the past months of going in the wrong direction. I'm learning the difference between normal tension and when it's time to start back on the meds (dahlink). It's hard to accept that being upset and tearful, even at random times, doesn't mean I'm on my way down again. There's a subtle difference in the things that run through my mind when I'm crying, even if I'm downright sobbing it doesn't feel so...desperate?

Is it because I know I'm finally on the right track? One of them anyway. I can actually look ahead and realistically see things working out. This time last year I was picturing myself being either in SD or Atlanta, looking for a job, but I didn't really believe it, it didn't feel real, because I couldn't honestly imagine what it would feel like.

Ladies and Gentlemen I give you...Graduation, the best antidepressant of them all.

Although the last blog was posted in response to something that was taken somewhat out of context, I'm leaving it up because I felt that way before, I just wasn't near a computer at the time. I won't feel whole until I have a job and am as self sufficient as I should be. That means not imposing on people more than one can help in the normal course of sharing a house.

Yesterday evening K'wyn, Lia and I went for coffee and we got to talking about cars, and the purchase thereof, this has been one of the many things weighing on my mind, as I know I've got very little clue how to pick a car, the pros and cons of new versus used blah blah. I took the opportunity to ask both of them why they chose the car the have, and what they'd do differently if they could. During the course of the conversation it became clear to me that my parents way of thinking won't work in California, as I will be driving an average of 40 miles a day just going to and from work, so spending a couple thousand on a car and having it last 4-5 years is not really going to happen here. So point one is:I will have to take out a loan to get a reliable car whether or not I get a used one.

Of course, this made me think of the position I would be in if I still had the money lost over the past year, and lead to much internal wrangling between resentment of another, and anger at myself. Suffice it to say that from my research today, that money would have enabled me to get an extremely comfortable compact car, with all the fixings (not leather seats, I hate em) and have paid for it entirely inside 2 years, with lower interest rates too. All is not lost of course, I have the ability to pay one off in 5 years easily, but it's the principal of the thing. I just thank the Money Gods that my credit rating has not been affected, better non existent than actively bad. The global community hasn't grown efficient enough to use my British credit as an example. I suppose I could ask for a reference from my bank.

The seeming magnitude of the task of preparing myself adequately to make the "right" decision terrified me, and that combined with general fear of falling off the ladder with the weight of these new burdens made me extremely upset. I'm afraid that it lead to me snapping at K'wyn and it took much patience on her part to help me figure out what I was really upset about. Life in general would be a fair diagnosis, but breaking it down into little tasks always helps. For one, I need to tell her or Lia, or any good friend when the subject matter is making me upset, it's a hell of a lot better then running off in tears with no explanation. On the practical front, I need to decide what car I realistically want, and go to a couple dealers and see what they can offer me. If there's something coming off lease that still has some of its warrantee left, that would be perfect. That I have pretty much done today, going to independent consumer report sites on the web and starting out with the safest small cars, and going from there. I found that a new bug wouldn't be THAT frivolous for me to get, but a Toyota Echo would prolly be the best bet. It would be a trade off between safety rating and reliability. Oh, and funkiness versus price.

Now I need to find out about getting my parents to cosign and stuff like that.

Monday, November 05, 2001

I am a non-person right now. I can walk to the grocery store, or phone around gathering information on apartments, but anything beyond that requires transport, and I don't have that yet.

In retrospect, yes, I should have taken the time to get my driving license while I was at UCSD, or while I was still in the UK, but it just didn't fit in, it seemed far less important than passing my degree, or avoiding Westminster Bridge. So for now I'm an invasive pain in the ass.

I don't have a bank account, because there's no point until I get a job. Nor do I have a US credit rating because I've lived in the UK almost all my life and having a credit card with a high limit there for three years without getting in debt doesn't count for anything over here.

I'm afraid to touch anything in case I break it or move it to the wrong place. As of today I'm not too keen on talking either. Perhaps it's the problem of living with someone more exacting and sensitive than me, up until now, I've always been the picky one, now I'm the nuisance. Until I can be sure I'm not going to be taken the wrong way I might as well stick to my room and pretend I don't exist.

That pretty much sums it up: I do not exist as a person. I'm a collection of noises and inconveniences. Right now this irritation has some flat hunting to do.
Aw, fuck. Apparently I'm still weak and cowardly. Pardon me for realising that I didn't want to spend the rest of my life with someone who is so concerned with his pride that he attacks me when I'm ill for not "trusting" him. Every other issue aside, that one single incident is enough to show that there was something seriously wrong.

Friday, November 02, 2001

I guess I'm officially single then. Am I a complete idiot for somehow expecting him to end up agreeing with me that we had irreconcilable differences? All very well to keep saying we can talk it through, work it out, blah blah, but some things will never change no matter how much you run verbal circles around them. What it comes down to is how someone makes you feel, about life and about yourself. I felt like I was continuously being patted on the head for saying something dumb, being called a coward for seeing what I wanted to do and going towards it, even if it meant walking away from other aspects of my life. A month or so ago I posted something about "taking the easy way out" on Sept 30th in fact.

I don't understand how anyone could see the way I have chosen to live my life "taking the easy road" I have not exactly given myself ridiculously large challenges, but I have never gone for something because it looked easy, I make my choices according to what feels right. so far it has worked well for me, I have managed to get to 21 with no regrets, aside from the usual wishing I'd studied harder. I mean that, absolutely no regrets, and it feels so good to be able to say that.

If I had wanted to take the easy road, I would have stayed in Edinburgh, had my Mum feed me all through university, avoided hassle form Kenny about going to London. I would have not gone on the exchange to UCSD, I would have stayed home (again) and would quite possible still be with Kenny right now. No offence intended, but that would just be so WRONG. Time and time again, I'll say to myself "OK, I'll stick this out, see if it gets better" and a day, or three days or maybe even an hour later I will find myself coming back to that decision and worrying at it, because it feels wrong. Out of place, dishonest, whatever you want to call it, it feels wrong to me.

There's some part of me that will not allow me to stick to a decision that is wrong for me, I used to think I was good at fooling myself, I still do, but when it really comes down to it, I cannot keep blindsiding myself. The upshot of that is that it will take me a long time to realise that something is not workin gout, but once I realise it, I know it for certain. That is hard on those around me, and I am trying to get myself a nice little "early warning" system so I don't end up changing tacks out of the blue.

Is it taking the easy way out when you fix on the decision that leaves you at peace? Any other solution I've tried for this has left me churning and unable to get on with anything else, because I keep coming back to it as a piece that doesn't fit.

I'm repeating myself. Partly because I'm upset, even though I know it's the right thing, it's always emotional to make such a big change. I regret nothing, but I am sorry to have hurt someone who helped me through such a hard time. It's a trite phrase to use, but Blessed Be, I hope you realise your full potential someday, and that you find someone to be beside you when you do.


Thursday, November 01, 2001

Boy trouble still rules supreme in the world of the Combat Faeries. OK, maybe not quite so much for K'wyn, she's got some potentially good boy stuff going on too. But in general, the consensus is: they cause WAY too much trouble.

I am having extremely mixed feelings about the concept of relationships as a whole right now. As much as I miss being able to curl up safe with someone, the knowledge that it's highly unlikely that you actually ARE safe keeps me from missing it that much. Despite being a romantic at heart, I'm turning into a cynic for now, so don't be surprised if any advice or opinion I give on romance is tinged with "why bother" sentiments.

HAH! first step on the way towards a driving liscence is complete. I've passed my written test, so now I can get lessons.

Wednesday, October 31, 2001

$#&&*$%@$#T U#&$@$#$^%^*&*(&*()(^&%$#!$#$*%&* professors! Not remembering if I graduated or think he might have mentioned that when *I* contacted him about a reference...

Tuesday, October 30, 2001

How much of the stress we experience in life is created by our own expectations and outlook? Quite a lot from what I've seen. Not that anyone does it on purpose, but I'm finding I really need to take a big step back once in a while and think about what actually matters. NOTHING that has happened in the past weeks has gotten to me nearly as much as the smallest things did before. Probably a sign that I'm doing something right.

Well...I guess there's a first time for everything.
The interview went well, he seems to really want me to come work there, but since I haven't applied through the official channels (he contacted me after seeing my resume elsewhere) he has to go through the motions of interviewing a couple other people, and then show me to the human resources people in about 10 days. Then I'd be officially taken on a 6 month contract (to make it easier to get me working asap) though I'd only have to leave at the end of that if thing went seriously badly.

It's the Whittier Institute of Diabetes, and I'd be working on breeding and maintaining trans-genic mice, and carrying out investigations using fetal pancreatic tissues and hopefully stem-cells. I have no idea what the time frame is for me to be officially accepted as an applicant/worker. But it looks good.

Monday, October 29, 2001

Oh, and the parents (and sibling) may be visiting for Christmas, taking advantage of the lower airfares following Sept 11th.

My first thought was that I didnt want them to visit until I was more established, had the apartment sorted out and a car and everything, but really, it would be nice to see them. This would be my first Christmas without them otherwise, and that wasn't something I looked forward to. This way they can help me with the car-buying process too, which would mean I don't have to impose on anyone else for help so much.

Mum will also get to take advantage of my Costco membership. Teehee.

Time to read up on the pancreas. Oh Joy. Two publications to read, off the computer screen too, as I'm not going to waste that much ink by printing them.

Saturday, October 27, 2001

I feel so grown-up, I've got a membership to the Price Club before my Mum has one. HAH!

It also means I'm officially K'wyn's "optional spouse" *ahem*

Today has been a slightly expensive one, but it's all "set up" costs. I'm realising I really should get myself a bank account and credit card here so that I actually HAVE a credit rating.

Friday, October 26, 2001

If I could give one gift to my close friends right now, it would be peace of mind. Unfortunately I'm not in a position to do that, all I can do is reassure them that life goes on, and somehow it takes you with it.

The closest I can get is to offer this book It seems a strange substitute, but having immersed myself in the whole series, I realise the moral is: whatever life throws at you, illness, death, political intrigue, even idiot cousins called just go on. Improvise, blag your way through life with as much honor as you can manage, and somehow, you come out all right at the end of it. Tired, but happy. It seems silly that a scifi novel series can do that, but it really does.

Take heart my friends, it gets better from here. Go curl up with some chocolate and a good book.

Life is seldom fair, but it's a damn sight more fun than the alternative.
TWO more job interviews lined up. Yay me.

Thursday, October 25, 2001

Give an inch and they take a mile, hell, OFFER a millimetre and they take a mile.

You know who you are.

Wednesday, October 24, 2001

On the subject of transport, I am nearer a clear idea of my game plan. Inbetween car good, as my insurance premiums will be higher for the first three years that I drive here. To afford an inbetween car that lasts me almost 3 years, I shall prolly have to wait until I'm actually working. Sooo....ideally, borrow VW for first month or so of work/liscence possesion, then get a second hand car that will hopefully last me a couple years. If I can't borrow the VW, I'll have less money to buy a car with, but will try to get one asap, and hope it lasts me a couple years!

Ooooh, someone at Scripps showed someone ELSE at another lab my resume and they've contacted me about a job. Heh, I must look more impressive on paper than I thought.

Which brings me back to the Aurora situation. I got a call this morning from Aurora Human Resources, saying that Jim Rader had got mixed informaiton from my referees. Apparently some of them weren't that sure if I'd GRADUATED. WTF?? I think what it probably was, is that Marcus Rattray was being nice and trying to downplay my 3rd class status, and it came across as him being unsure whether I actually had a degree or not. Chances are Jim Rader doesn't know that UK degrees are graded, *I* wasn't about to point it out to him, cause then I'd have to also point out that mine was graded as 3rd class...

Tuesday, October 23, 2001

Need transport to get to job. Need job to afford transport that won't leave me stranded. Hrmmmm. Ok, so I need a liscence before all of those, but it doesn't hurt to plan ahead while I'm reading my handbook does it?

Yeah, ideally I'd wait until I've been working long enough to get a loan for a car. Which means imposing on others quite a lot until then. Not acceptable.

Funny how Mum seems to have completely forgotten how close to impossible it is to get around without a car here. "Just wait till you've been working a while, then you can get a reliable safe car with side impact bars..." Side impact bars are her big thing. I completely understand wanting me to be in a safe car, especially having seen some of the drivers around here. The more I think about it, the more I think I may end up going for a Toyota Corolla like Kw'yn's, because they seem to be such a good balance of cost, safety and reliability. And then we'd match of course. I know the VW cab of my aunt's is not the most tank-like of objects, but if I start work b4 I have a car it would be so useful to be able to borrow it. It's very much preferable to no car. ESPECIALLY if I manage to start work when K'wyn has finals.

GRAWR. There's a lot of chicken and egg stuff going on right now. Can't get a decent car till I have a job, can't get to work without transport. Can't get a job wihtout experience, can't get experience without a job. All that I can extrapolate from this chain is that the job is the facilitator to solving most problems here. However, just beccause the job is the most important, does that mean I everything else has to wait until I have one?? I'm certainly planning to already know which car I plan to get by the time I can afford a decent one, but is it a spectacular waste of time and money to get an "inbetween" car and make it last as long as possible, THEN get a new one later on, when I will be more financially stable anyway? Hrm. Time to argue with parents again. If I can borrow the VW, then no inbetween car, but if not, I vote for an inbetweenie.

I guess the NEXT most important thing is whether my vote actually counts!
Hi ho, Hi ho, it's off to jobandflatandcar hunt we go...
Phew, saved from evil professor by a post-doc who actually SAW me doing practical stuff in the lab. Said evil professor is a neurobiologist who does not believe in the existance of depression as a disease. It's clearly a choice we flaky students make to become miserable recluses, afraid to leave the apartment for fear of, well, just for fear. Or maybe for fear of having to deal with insensitive professors ne?

Monday, October 22, 2001

The trip up to the mountains was also extremely good for the general Faerie Cohort morale, both of us were able to do a much needed cobweb clearing of the brain. Mountain air is good for that.
A weekend in the life of Agent Ash, Combat Faerie
It's been a long weekend, but mostly in the good way. That makes a nice change. Going along to a flatwarming party with K'wyn on friday helped a lot to alleviate the black mood, but it came back on saturday morning when a parcel arrived containing a few items of sentimental value, one of which was a photo I took when I was 15. It is newly scratched by the shattered glass that accompanied it in the parcel. Glass frames with no wood around them to protect the edges have a habit of breaking when mailed with only three layers of cellophane to protect them. I really don't like having my temper on such a hair trigger, it doesn't feel at all like me.

Many problems can be fixed by asian market and BOBA. So K'wyn and I went off to battle the crowds and purchase asian-style yummables for the week, and then went to Lollicup for my first pearl tea in a year and a half. Followed by a trip to the Japanese market, which has a section for pottery and china. I was bad, I spent $34. but for that $34 I got a sake set (two flasks and five cups), two little sauce dishes that can double as ash trays, a little china cat chopstick-prop with spots, the same as the one I have with stripes on it, and four mugs with a pretty design on them. Ohhh, I manabed to buy FOUR of something in a Japanese shop! Heehee, guess which objects are designed to be sold to westerners with no idea of the 1,2,3 DEATH, 5,6... problem?? Apparently most Japanese now say "yi" instead of "shi" just to avoid that problem. That little pearl of knowledge came from Mr Doyle (no, not the real name, the screen name) who came over saturday evening. He and K'wyn also had a lot in common with their interests in Japan, and Anime, so the three of us talked for a long time before he and I went out to wander and catch up by ourselves, yet again we talked till nearly dawn, unless we figure out how to have a conversation that's less than 9 hours long it'll be hard to find time slots for coffee together! He's one of the frankest people I know, and that is extremely refreshing to me after knowing far to many people who bend and reshape the truth according to their mood. (admittedly most of those have been women, makes me feel ashamed to be one sometimes)

Sunday I dragged myself out of bed after 4 hours sleep to get on the road to Julien. YAY fresh-baked bread. YAY apple pie. YAY hoarshound losenges (yeuchy but they work) YAY cheap strings of stones. Between us K'wyn and I bought malachite, lapis-lazuli, rose quartz, garnets, carnelian, and a second string of garnets to give to our third initiate into the circle of Combat Faeries: Agent Ophelia.

Ophelia had organised an expidition to investigate the newest representaion of our kind, namely A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Old Globe theatre. We were all mightlily impressed wiht it, it's always a fun play, and the faeries really were combat faeries this time, as they were bedecked with elbow and knee pads and DM boots. The choreography of the arguments between the four lovers was fantastic, much flinging around of poor little Hermia, and the Helena was a great comic turn, very tall and gangly, which is perfect for her. Puck was also great, an asian guy with pink in his hair to echo his pink velour suit, he was perfectly pixie-ish and very graceful on roller blades, skateboard and space-hopper. Yes I said space-hopper, it was in 1960's clothing. Kind of.

I have also located my parents. They were in Vienna for 4 days, so that's sorted out.

Shower time.

Friday, October 19, 2001

I don't know what's wrong with me, I haven't been this angry for as long as I can remember. It's just sitting and stewing in my guts, waiting for a chance to leap up out of my throat and do some damage and I don't like it. It's not really ME.

It makes me madder that it's possible to turn me from a good mood to this mad with only one sentence. I know what this is, this is manic/agressive. I've not had this since I Was 17. Woooo, don't you just feel so SPECIAL? I have to get out of here, go smoke a cigarette, bang my fists agains a wall, SOMETHING. Just to clear out the awful frustration that I've let someone hurt me this much.

I suppose I should have know I'd get like this sometime, and it's nowhere near as bad as it's been before, there's still a couple other threads of thought running, I'm still aware of my surroundings. Like the fact that I'm sitting next to a stranger, and I hope she doesn't look over because I don't know what my face looks like right know, but I'm pretty sure I'm not exactly projecting happy contented vibes.

And as fast as I can type about it, it passes. But I'm leaving this up, as a reminder, though to whom I'm not sure. You probably know who you are.

*ahem* Have just logged into my Mum's hotmail account, and found that she had set the filters to exclusive, and no addressbook entry for little me. So Rosie was in the junk mail folder, which she prolly hasn't thought to check, lord knows how many emails have actually been DELETED without being read because of that. Cue Rosie rearranging mummy's address book for her, then sending a slightly snooty email pointing out the joys of looking in the sodding junk mail folder once in a while just in case.

Yeah, I'm pissy, but it would be nice if my mum actually GOT my emails. I need support and stuff right now.

*grumble grumble grumble*

Oh, I'm really not a happy bunny now. Have just recieved an email requesting Novembers 1/2 of rent. Yes, it was agreed, but it's still not a good subject at ALL for me. It just makes me want to throw my hands up in disgust and stomp about and yell.

I don't know when it switched from sensible redistribution of wealth to feeling like I'm being used, but that switch was so long ago now that I am probably going to be terminally touchy about serious money matters for a considerable space of time. I'm never going to be someone who freaks out over $5, but I am a lot less cool with lending than I once was, maybe a good thing actually, to be cautious, but I don't like being cautious and bitter.

I'm somewhat concerned by the lack of contact from the parents. I know my mum rarely checks her email, so it's easily possible for her to not get a message / reply to it for a few days (yes, I count every 3rd day as rarely, though maybe infrequently would be better) but I know Dad checks his daily when at work, and replies straight off to prevent massive 400 messages waiting to be dealt with incidents. Maybe Dad's out of town, and Mum's not checked her email yet.

I'm such a wee baby, a week and a half with out parental contact and I'm all "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!" Nice to know I miss them though, when I've spent a long time there I sometimes wonder if I'll ever want to go back!

Gah, was downloading shockwave to view the Gorillaz website and it decided to close all my windows. Thus losing the blog I was typing.

I'm in a random mood today, prolly looking forward to the weekend, which seems strange because I'm not working or at school right now. But we've got mucho stuff planned. Tonight I get to see the Cowboy Bebop movie, I watched chapters 2-6 yesterday to get a clue, and I'm looking forward to feature length anime-ness. I really like the look of it, and the intro sequence and credits are great, very '60s action TV show, but less naff. Saturday will be chilling out, then meeting up with Ryan to catch up on the last year+ of stuff. Prolly not actually swing dancing though, I'm very out of practice and he's gone off it, bad combo. SUNDAY is a trip to Julien for herbs, apple juice, general faerie-like prancing around the hills, and de-stressing. Followed by A Midsummers Night's Dream at the old globe, though prolly not the outdoor ye olde style one. Busy busy.


Thursday, October 18, 2001

Urgh urgh urgh. Conflict sucks.

I'm going to go have a ridiculously long shower and wash away the crapness.

Wednesday, October 17, 2001

JOB UPDATE (just to make it clear)

They like me, they're checking my references and background. The background check people wanted me to fax in a copy of my passport, but then their fax machin was on the blink/out of paper/switched off, so that didn't happen today. It's looking good, but I don't want to hope TOO much and jinx myself.

Ah, I failed to mention that over the weekend K'wyn and I went to ren fayre in Las Vegas, with her Mom, brother, and the Mom's fiance. It was fun, and it was really nice to come back to K'wyn's place as "coming home" afterwards, it made it feel a lot more like home.

The fayre was pretty small-scale. There was alot of stuff I'd seen before at War, or the San Bernadino fayre, only generally worse quality. The most interesting thing was the wide diversity of costume styles in evidence. There were a few Tudors, and a bunch of musketeers (definately pushing the boundaries of when the SCA "period" ends) the requisite older women wearing bodices with no boob-coverage and spilling out and down over them (hint: after having kids, you might need some support other than a chemise) There were two girls wearing fur bikinis, going for the "captured savage" look, some really cool faerie outfits, a bunch of ppl walking around together dressed as their D&D characters (or that's what it looked like) and then the leather/goth/vampire brigade. Not to mention the Xena Warrior princess gone S&M with zebra bodypaint...

My only purchase was a pair of burgundy and gold faerie wings which match my garb perfectly. (yay) They tie on with ribbons instead of elastic, which makes em both more adjustable and more comfy. They also cost the same as wings I've seen in stores, unusual for Renfayre.

So that's the report on the weekend.
As my blog goes the way of every other journal I've kept in my life: more stuff happening, therefore less blogging. You only get to know what's happening when it's boring.

Things with Aurora look really good, as long as my references are ok they luurve me. YAY. I can't believe how well this has gone, K'wyn says I'm due some karmic payback, in the good way, and I guess she's right. Things haven't been horrible, but I've had a fair streak of crapness going on for about 5 years. If not total crapness, a lot of things have started out promising and ended up in the range of blah to disasterous. I'm still not sure which category my degree falls into ;-p

Today I'm going in with K'wyn again, to choir, where Colin will be (yay) I also ran into Nick on campus yesterday.

THIS time I'm remembering how chilly it gets in the evenings on campus. I'd forgotten the whole damp yeuchyness side of SD weather, and bought a sweater yesterday to keep myself from having a comeback of my cold.

Must dash to the shower.

Thursday, October 11, 2001

I survived the interview. Me in my smart skirt and jacket, and all the interviewers (almost all anyway) in jeans! One of the women had blue hair too, which is a good sign of a relaxed work environment. It looks like a really great place to work, relaxed friendly atmosphere, but they still get things done, which is the perfect balance to me. In fact I think the relaxed atmosphere is the best way to concentrate on the important things, instead of worrying about office (or lab) politics.

I don't know when I'll hear from them, so I'll keep applying for other jobs, and keep in touch with Aurora to see what happens. Jim Rader, who is basically the one who would be hiring me, said that he thought I'd made a good impression on all the interviewers.

Tomorrow we're going to Ren Fayre in Las Vegas. Looooong drive, I hope my books last me.

I'm knackered now, wanna go home and have hot chocolate and sleeeeeeeeeeeeeep.


Wednesday, October 10, 2001

So tomorrow I have an interview. In fact I have my first ever interview that is both scarily intensive AND important to me. Yeah, I have been through the Cambridge interviews but, frankly, I wasn't stressed out about them, because I already had an unconditional offer from Kings and I liked the look of Kings more.

I now have the interview timetable/itinerary, which lets me know that I have a long string of 30-45 minute sessions with different members of the research team. Yeep. My first response being a wish to hide under K'wyn's desk. But then I think about it a bit longer and realise that this way is both a more efficient use of their time, and it's not as hard on me. I won't be the little person on the other side of the table from a large panel of people grilling me. I won't feel outnumbered. They won't have TIME to ask me too many really in-depth questions. I won't be spending so much time around the same people that I feel under attack, and THEY won't be sick of the sight of me by the end of the day. Huh, they're also having me in the same room the whole time, so I'll feel like I'm holding court (!) unlike my Cambridge interview when I had to be herded about from building to building by a "sheep dog" third year student. Hopefully (also unlike my Cambridge interview) everyone will remember that my interview is happening, and won't have to be hunted down before talking to me, thus putting them in a bad mood.

On a more random note, it's nice to be using a keyboard with all the letters still marked on it, and this keyboard feels nice to use too, the keys don't stick, or rattle.

K'wyn has an exam tomorrow at 9.30, and my interview starts at 9am, so it's studying tonight, waking up early tomorrow. I wonder how long it will be before they let me know if they want me at Aurora. It would be so great if I can start up right away, and then concentrate on getting a driving liscence sorted out. And be EARNING too, that would help so many things.

This weekend will be fun too, Ren-Fayre will be a good reward for surviving the interview, even if I'm not in my "real" garb.

Time to go bone up on GABA receptors and epilepsy. wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

I'm actually HERE!

Tha journey was uneventful, apart from all three of my check bags having to be searched b4 I could be given my boarding cards, but we were at the airport so early I got put on earlier flights, so I got to SD at 1-30 instead of 3-30. I'm going into campus today, to hang out with Radiskull, and then I'll be using a computer at K'wyn's work to research for my presentation tomorrow. Eeeeeeep. I HAVE AN INTERVIEW TOMORROW!!!

On the flight from Houston to SD I sat next to a very nice woman who lives in San Diego, she gave me her phone number so I can let her know if I get the job or not.

OK, time for breakfast.

Monday, October 08, 2001

No sleep for the traveller. Meh, I'm used to it, and I'll catch up.
I started typing a more comprehensive blog, but then the computer froze, so it got lost. The moment is gone.

Suffice it to say that I'm packing, and getting there slowly, the plane leaves tomorrow at about 12-30, but I'll be at the airport at about 7am because it's a choice between getting there 3 hours ahead of take off and Loki getting no sleep b4 work, or getting there 5 hours ahead of take off and me getting a nap before departing the apartment. I can sleep on the journey.

My interview outfit (it took me a LONG time to decide on it) is going in the carryon roller case with my laptop, that way I don't have to worry about my luggage going missing.

Now my mind's ablank, there was lots to say, but I forgot it all in my ire at the damn computer gremlins.

Been so much to blog about I didn't know where to start so I skipped it to avoid a really LONG random blog.

Friday, October 05, 2001

Getting things straightened out somewhat. Too tired to say more, now I'm mostly stressing about my interview. Going to seek out a shirt tomorrow, since I somehow have managed to have two smart skirts, two smart jackets (one lightweight one heavy) and no smart shirts.

Tuesday, October 02, 2001

*mental note* STICK TO VEGITARIAN FROZEN MEALS.... whatever they're using for chicken in this thing, it tastes ODD. But then it might be the difference between US and UK farming too, people I know have noticed a difference in the beef. It's prolly the BSE...
Yay, I've set up the archive to work form this page, all by my self. Yeah, yeah, so someone else did all the html coding, and all I did was cut and paste MY links into the approproate spaces, but I managed to do that without messing up. Pretty good for someone who's never done a thing in html before. The aim is to code my whole website myself, instead of relying on pagebuilder to do it for me, just so I can feel the achievement of it being all my work.

I had a scare this morning, my oldest friend was online and said he needed to call me. Marc's always preferred phones to online so that wasn't anything special. Then he tells me a guy he split up with recently is now HIV positive. And logs off. So I'm sitting here madly trying to remember exactly WHEN they split up, and if he's been tested since. It was a very unpleasant few minutes. Marc is in the clear, he got tested in July, and they split up last September. It's a big relief, I'm sad for his ex, and for him, because this is a rather close brush with death for him. I also know that the ex was very irresponsible about his habits, and it frankly doesn't surprise me, people think that HIV has gone away because it's not publicised nearly so much nowadays, but it's still there, still just as deadly.

This is the closest I've ever been to knowing someone who's HIV positive. It's frightening to think of it, this guy is 19 and he probably won't make it much past 30. It's not a "maybe", there's no chemotherapy that could put the disease into remission, there's only hoping you're lucky enough to delay the onset of actual AIDS as long as possible by keeping healthy. My uncle died of cancer, but most cancers are treatable to a certain extent, and many are curable. HIV is still a death sentence, signed the moment you're diagnosed, even taking the drugs as soon as you can will only increase your life expectancy by about 5% at the most.

Marc called me partly because we've been good friends for 6 years, and partly because I'm his "biomedical expert". He wanted someone who knows biology to reassure him that if he's been clear for a year, he most likely really is clear of HIV. I'm glad when I can make people feel better about the scary medical stuff, I'm glad that I can pass on the things I've learned to reassure people. There's so much mystery built up around genetics and other branches of medicine now that people really believe that we can wave a magic wand and turn them into a genetically modified frog, or even change their religion with injections. (I kid you not, K'wyn has actually been asked if her aim in life was to make everyone an atheist by feeding them genetically modified foods...)

On that note, I'm going to go eat. Before I do that I will add a link to Marc's homepage, it's very cool and he loves getting random emails from people who are friends of friends.


Sunday, September 30, 2001

How do you know when you're taking the easy way out, and when you're striking out on your own? Most options in life seem to bring up plenty of their own problems, surely it's more a question of picking the walls you CAN climb, not beating your head against the ones you don't have a big enough ladder for?

Like many poeple I easily fall towards what looks like the easier option, against my better judgement sometimes too. Each time I've done that I've regretted it later, usually not a lot, but it's there. What I'm most thankful for is that I've managed to pull myself out of it every time. It's not good to be the girl who can't say no, but as long as you can say it when it's REALLY important it can be ok.

I'm too tired to make any more sense right now, anyone who knows what's going on with me will get what I'm talking about. Anyone who doesn't know what's going on with me shouldn't have this url anyway!


Friday, September 28, 2001

Yes, I have got a new-look blog, thanks for noticing. I admit I just took it off the sample templates, but I'll work out how to personalize it later. I am pleased that I managed to get the links to my website and to the sister blogs up without running to K'wyn for help with the html.

I've had a call about the interview, I'm going to try to get it the thursday or friday after I arrive (will be flying into SD on a tuesday) It will have to be that week becasue one of the interviewers is off on his honeymoon the following week. So will the human resources woman I spoke to. What is it with October??

I'm going to take the newsletter to Rocky now, Loki's going to hide in the car, he's very cold-ridden!


Thursday, September 27, 2001

Well, I've got my first job interview, somewhere around the 10th of October (waiting to hear the details form the human resources dept) for a research job at an SD-based company called Aurora Biosciences Corp. It's as part of a research group investigating ion channels (mostly the voltage-gated variety) and the effects on said ion channels of new drugs, with a view to applicaitons in cystic fibrosis treatments.

The interview will take all morning, and will involve a 1/2 hour presentation from me (eeeep) on one of the research projects I've been involved in for work experience. Cue Rosie doing mucho homework on ion channels, cystic fibrosis, and whatever she's supposed to already know about lab work for the presentation.

It's really exciting, and nerve-wracking, because this is actually the only job that has really jumped out at me so far as something I want to do, I'd rather have an interview for one I'm not QUITE so keen to get so that I can practice on it!

Loki and I are still on tender footing about this, understandably he's not a happy bunny, but a job's a job.

So on october 9th I'll be heading for California, and sometime soon after that I'll be subjecting the poor interviewers at Aurora Biosciences with my spiel about GABA-linked long term potentiation in the hippocampus. Keep your fingers crossed for me!


Sunday, September 23, 2001

Still looking online for good fares to SD, I've found a bunch, but I'm looking more to see if I can beat 'em by the time I've organised the payment for said ticket. Hey, if I lived in Phoenix AZ I'd be able to fly to San Diego for $68 round trip... That's what all national flights should cost! I'm used to being able to take a train to almost anywhere in the country for 50 pounds or so ($75), usually less, and of course you can get practically anywhere in the UK by train without having to arrive a day later, or even 3 days later.

The cat is caterwauling. It's her job. She's apparently complaining because she can't go out and hunt squirrels all night. Not that she'd be able to catch one, or know what to do if she even caught up with one. Captain Kit is fairly limited in her hunting skills. Grasshoppers are a challenge, and we don't have any of them. Loki and I have debated buying a few from a pet store, just to give her the exercise.

*drumroll* today I've applied online for 7 (count em) jobs. I emailed my biotech resume out like a mad resume-mailing demon thingy. I rewarded myself with a cute little imitation zippo (ie, 1/3 of the price, works just as good) with a cartoon cat on it that looks like Kit, and a pack of clove cigarettes. (OK so I did the buying b4 the emailing, but I did earn em....)

Now it's bedtime, and of course I'm feeling energetic again. I'm sure it won't last, once I'm lying down it's very hard to convince my body to stay awake.


Thursday, September 20, 2001

"International credit card company" my arse!

Mastercard...heard of it? Yeah, international company right? But can I use my Mastercard with a UK billing address to buy ANYTHING online in the US? Nope. Garg.

I'm looking for tickets to fly to San Diego sometime soonish so I can see all my friends there, and if I buy thorugh I can get a ticket for $188, but they won't let me buy it with my brit credit card! So I'd have to go through, pay $100 more, and it would be sent to my parents house in Edinburgh! AAAAAAAAAARGH! Hello Auntie, can I borrow your credit card number for a minute...

*sigh* I'll figure something out, hopefully something that doesn't involve paying more just because I'm a damn brit.


Wednesday, September 12, 2001

Somehow we always think that "these things don't happen" There is a universal conviction that the atrocities we hear about are all past, and that none of us will ever have to deal with the horrors that faced our parents and grandparents in Vietnam and the World Wars. But time and time again we are proved wrong, because there are just as many violent-minded people in the world, and increased technology gives them even more opportunities for wreaking havoc.

The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon have shocked the Western World, and I keep hearing phrases like "unprecedented" and "never before". The stark truth however, is that terrorist attacks as cold-blooded as these have been going on all my life in the Middle East, yesterday's attacks are mostly notable for the extreme melodrama of the gesture, the fact that the "untouchable bastion of freedom and democracy" has finally succumbed to the violence that affects our cousins in Israel on a daily basis.

When I was 7 years old a Lybian bomb destroyed a Boeing 747 above the small town of Lockerbie, the debris landed on a residential area and made a huge crater where minutes before had been quiet suburban residences. I was too young to really understand the incident, but I spent almost a year wanting to hide under the kitchen table whenever I heard a plane go overhead. Eight years later, when I was old enough to understand death and violence, a man burst into a classroom of 4 year olds and killed 17 of them with a handgun, a copycat incident involved kindergarten children and a machete attack. Not long after that, someone walked into an examination room and set a flame-thrower on the 14-16 year olds sitting their exams there.

This all happened in the UK, I grew up in Edinburgh, not a war zone, but everyone who has watched the BBC news in the last 20 years will be able to reel you off a list of terrorist attacks and random acts of violence carried out by lone crazies.

I spent my childhood watching news reports on IRA bombs going off in shopping centres and train stations. Of "Freedom Fighters" kneecapping civilians because they wanted to have a friend of the "wrong" religion, or even because they wanted to sell their business to the "wrong" person. Later on, after the situation in Ireland had calmed down somewhat, it was the Gulf War, the Gaza Strip, atrocities in Bosnia, Afghanistan and more places than I can even remember. But still people say "that kind of thing doesn't happen nowadays, we're much to civilized now" Ethnic cleansing is going on right now, as I type. Women are being beaten and stoned to death by the Taliban for not keeping themselves completely covered up in public, or simply because their husband wants another dowry and decides to accuse his wife of adultery so he can get a different one. The world is full of violence, and yet all of us are irate and disbelieving when this violence intrudes into our small lives.

Every person on this planet has the right to live a peaceful, sane life. Yet there is violence in the world, and we deal with it by pretending it's not happening, or by saying "well, that's just what those Arabs are like isn't it? Nothing we can do to stop them, they're all bloodthirsty maniacs" Tough luck for the child that happens to be born in Palestine. Tough luck for the family who loses a relative to terrorist violence. But let it happen on our doorstep and suddenly it's unacceptable, "why don't they do something to stop these things?" Why indeed? Because until it does happen on your doorstep, until it's you who are frantically trying to make sure that no-one you know was hurt, these things don't happen. Those screaming mothers you see on the news after their child was hit by shrapnel, they're not real people, they're just Palestinians, Irish, Serbs, Croats, Russians, Israelis, FOREIGNERS. It doesn't affect me, it's someone else's problem, let them sort it out. I am as guilty as the next person of these thoughts. My anger at the perpetrators of the attack on US is combined with anger at myself for not taking any action to call for more peace talks, more understanding in the world.

The US decides to bomb Iraq, good, teach Saddam a lesson. Meanwhile my English classmates are numb with terror because their brother, sister, parents, cousins...whole extended families live in Baghdad. Only now am I getting a slight insight into what that time must have been like for them. My cousin works in lower Manhattan, it was the work of a panicked minute to e-mail her and ask if she was ok, and another minute before I got a reply saying she's safe. Two minutes of fear for a relative's life, and I'm still shaken by it. Imagine not knowing for months.

The horror of yesterday's attacks lies not in the fact that it was Americans who were harmed, nor in the fact that it was an icon of democratic free trade that crumbled to smoldering rubble. The horror is in the realization that there are people in this world who will plan and scheme and risk their own lives to kill tens of thousands of civilians who's only crime is being human living in a certain country. "How dare they attack us?" people are asking, the real question is: How have we managed to escape this violence for so long? How have we seen what innocent humans are subjected to daily and not risen up against the injustice of it? The world is at war, and we aren't even paying attention.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

I don't even know where to begin. Somehow terrorists have managed something that should only ever happen in a Bruce Willis film, and it makes me sick. The magnitude of this is so beyond anything I thought I'd ever see in my lifetime.

Friday, September 07, 2001

Time to sum up my first week and a half in Atlanta...
Waking up after noon most days and having to scramble to get anything done before offices close [check]
Getting used to the keyboard with stickers to mark letters, some of which are on sideways. [check]
Experiencing Rocky Horror as a non-virgin. [check]
Walking a mile in high heels (in the rain) to get to Rocky, thus giving myself a 2" blood blister on my foot. [ouch, I mean check]
Playing counsellor (with Loki) to victims of melodramatic breakups [check and double check]
Fielding a phonecall from one of the causes of first melodramatic breakup without letting on that I know about the porn film. [check]
Failing to print out snazzy Resume due to lack of drivers on my laptop and floppy drive on Loki's [check] (feeble excuse, but I hate giving money to Kinkos)
Waking up with a cat trying to either smother me or steal my pillow. [not sure which, but check anyway]
Acting like an old married couple even though we've only been living together for a week [check]
Bitching at Loki about the mess in the apartment [*sigh grumble* check]

That pretty much covers it. Yes I did mean that about the porn movie. There's certainly some interesting people around here...


Tuesday, September 04, 2001

Wow, the cat finally figured out what that heap of kitty litter was for. Last night in fact. Loki gave her catnip (otherwise known as Kitty Crack) as a reward, and she's had the run of the apartment all night and still behaved herself! This breakthrough was achieved by taking the newspaper out from under the litter, so she's using litter that's just directly on the floor. Not ideal, but it's a start. I'm going to see if I can find a clear plastic mat to go under the litter to protect the floor. Then we can work our way up to a litter box. *sigh* I wonder how much harder than this potty-training is?

But it's nice having the furball out and about, especially when she's keyed up on catnip and thunderbumping about all over the place. She was on my lap a minute ago, but suddenly decided that it was imperative she race through to the kitchen and then back to the bathroom. She's a busy bunny. Places to go, people to bitch at. Speaking of which, I'm going to head down to open a bank account, now that I can remember my SS# properly.


Monday, September 03, 2001

There are some films you really can do without seeing. Some because the scripts are painfully bad, and some because they're just plain painful. "Hannibal" was on in the Pint last night while I was keeping Loki company at work. As he said, it's like a train wreck, you don't want to see, but you can't stop looking. I was (just about) ok with the gut-and-hang the Italian policeman out of the window of a famous building in Florence, I was even (marginally) ok with the man-eating wild boar. It's the slicing-open-someone's-head-and-feeding-them-their-own-brain part that I, personally, could really do without. Yick yick yick yick. And did I mention OW!? It's probably made worse by the knowledge that it is theoretically possible to do, no pain sensors in the brain and so forth. OK, I'm changing subjects before I make myself, and you, sick.

*deep breath....thinking happy thoughts* Oh, Kit is still rebelling against the opressive toilet rules. I guess it is rather an infringement of her rights to expect her to only ever use one of the two litter trays provided, and not have the freedom to poop wherever the urge takes her. *ahem* Otherwise she's being a sweetie, probably because she knows she's being "bad" so she's not bitching or trying to bite the hand that feeds/pets/cleans up after her.

Today is Labour Day, and it's raining. Teehee, so much for the best BBQ day of the year. Muah hah hah, I have foiled the puny Atlantans' plans for outdoor fun by bringing Edinburgh weather with me.

Loki's off to work now, and I'm gonna locate quarters and do some laundry.

Ooooh, I can go back to Banana Yoshimoto now I've finished the last (sniff) Lois McMasters-Bujold book.


Friday, August 31, 2001

WOOHOO! I made it here, no staying overnight in Amsterdam, and no lost suitcases.

So far we have been to Target and got a big drawer unit for my clothes, and spent the rest of the time sitting about watching movies or reading. Kit is being very friendly, but she's also still peeing on random spots on the floor. So she's banished to the spare room. Unfortunately that means I can't start fixing it up as my room yet, so I'm squeezing my stuff in amongst Loki's, we need a nice stack of milk crates to decant junk into.

So far it's not too hot here, it's consistantly grey and hazy/cloudy, very humid, but not DEADLY heat. It rained on my first full day here, it was really heavy warm rain, accompanied by thunder. I love warm rain, it's got all the fun of a Gene Kelly musical, without the whole getting chilled to the bone thing.

Loki's still asleep, but then he works nights so our hours are rather offset. I'm going along to a fancy restaurant near where he lives to see about getting a job to tide me over till I can find lab work. The manager was in Loki's Pub one night and said they were looking for waitresses who knew something about wines, and he said I should go along and see about applying, especially when told I'm British. I'm just so naturally classy you see....


OK, time for coffeeeeeeeeee.


Monday, August 27, 2001

In 5 hours I'll be in the car on the way to the airport...I guess I should go to bed. I actually managed to get all my stuff into 2 suitcases plus MAX carryon. Except for a shoebox of stuff that's getting airmailed. I think a shoebox of overflow is pretty good going.

OK, so there's also the stereo, box of books and box of clothes that are getting shipped slowly, but that was all in the plan.

Bed now. Lord knows if I'll actually be able to get to sleep in time to get up.

It's about 29 hours till I land in Atlanta, hopefully it won't be like that dream I had a while back where we land in the car park in front of the LeFont Plaza movie theatre, and the people waving the glowing sticks to guide the aircraft are all done up for Rocky Horror. Yes I'm a freak. FYI, the Plaza does Rocky Horror as the Friday Midnight Movie, so the dream wasn't THAT strange. Honest.

We're all heading off to have a family lunch, it's a lovely sunny day, and it was nice being in town this morning with no huge festival crowds, I got to stroll along Princes St and admire the view of the Castle in the sunshine. I'll miss stuff like that, but every town has nice places to wander and look at the view, one of which is right next to our apartment in Atlanta!

Countdown for Mission: Move To Atlanta is kicking in.....I'd better not suddenly discover a whole heap of clothes I forgot to take.

Ok, gotta go, Dad's here. Time for lunching.


Thursday, August 23, 2001

Ladies and Gentlemen brace yourselves please...I HAVE A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER!!! Yup, after 21 years of being an American Citizen I'm actually an official person! I can get a job, pay taxes...oh...damn, I have to be a responsible working adult now...maybe I'd better actually finish writing my fantabular resume now.

I applied for it almost 3 months ago, and when I phoned the Embassy in London they just logged on to the Baltimore SS main office computer and told me my number. If I hadn't called I'd prolly have waited another month or so for them to actually TELL me my number. Burocratic delay is great isn't it? Even better when you're trying to spell it.


Tuesday, August 21, 2001

I'm glad I don't have a dog, I've just had 2 hours of looking after a nutso mutt who wandered into our garden (and our pond) Dad was phoning the police station and trying to get ahold of the owner, and I was trying to keep it happy, but out of the pond. Unfortunately it seemed very thirsty, and didn't get the concept of drinking from water that it wasn't currently swimming in. Cute beastie, but a definitely handful. Yeah, I'll definitely walk a dog for someone who's incapacitated, but they're just too much work all the time. I don't want to put that much energy into a critter who isn't a mini human, thus promising the potential for conversation.

Phew, my jeans REALLY need a wash now, pond water and doggy smell isn't my usual perfume of choice! That damn mutt just kept going back into the pond, in between destroying a frisbee and any bushes that got in her way in pursuit of said frisbee. Good thing both of the cats were down the pub or something. THAT could have been messy. As it was it was a fairly fun interlude of dog pseudo-ownership. I wonder where these puppies get their energy from, it was so damn BOUNCY. And we could do that great thing where you pretend to throw something and the beast's halfway across the garden before it figures out there's nothing to chase yet. Muah hah hah. It's a shame when cats figure that one out at age 5 weeks, hours of entertainment can be had fooling dumb animals. Though admittedly it can get depressing when the dumb animals are the same species as you...

*sigh* I'm off to see the Cirque Surreal this evening, I'm TIRED. It'll be good, I just wish the big top was heated. I've started getting up earlier, but haven't managed to convince my body that also going to sleep earlier is also a good idea. Right, now I'm going to see just how many piles of books I have to sort through to find my photos so I can pack the first case for Atlanta. The smaller case is going to be full of the random heavy stuff. If I put books in the huuuuuuuuuuge suitcase no-one can lift it!

Ah! I just remembered something GOOD! I took all my textbooks to San Diego, and I DON'T NEED THEM ANY MORE!! *ahem* Not that I'm glad to be a graduate or anything. The boom box is getting shipped *sniff* surface mail, and maybe the photos should be too, I don't NEED em, it would just be nice to be able to finish albuming them while I have free time. Oooohhh, I'm actually getting somewhat organized. Wow. That coffee is finally kicking in. Right, all I need to leave unpacked is clothes to last me from now to Tuesday. Alternatively I could stay in all the rest of the week in my PJs, and pack EVERYTHING. Nah, I tried that when I was a kid, it doesn't work.

Maybe next time I'll be able to report some progress in the packing saga.


Monday, August 20, 2001

When the cats refuse to attempt Mount Laundry without ropes and a sherpa, you know it's time to do the wash...

Having said that it was only 3 loads, it just LOOKED mountainous. Hell, it looked like it was developing foothills. So today is the beginning of the organisational nightmare that is Operation Move-To-Atlanta. Beginning with my stunning leap out of bed at 9am, followed by staggering around my room trying to locate wearable clothes from the assortment of clean heaps "to be put away later". What's the point in putting clothes away when it's all going into suitcases in the next couple days anyway? Exactly.

I just had a horrible thought: when I went to San Diego I had the use of my Granny's luggage allowance. So I have more stuff, and one less suitcase to work with. *eyes up wardrobe unit and wonders if it'll be possible to convince the airline staff it's really a handbag*

Anyway, to be totally boring, I'll list today's achivements. For one thing, I managed to get in and out of town before most of the tourists had woken up and infested the throughfares in their matching Edinburgh Tattoo waterproof ponchos. This is a major achievement, not just because it means getting up before noon. I returned 4 dud bras I'd bought without trying on, and GOT INTO THE CHANGING ROOMS WITHOUT WAITING to try on some more. This getting up early thing really can pay off. I even got myself some squishy shock-absorbing socks with "L" & "R" marked on em. That'll solve the dizzying problem of which foot the socks go if I lose both "R" ones in the wash...will that give me two left feet? Sorry, too easy.

After buying some little sushi thingies from a sandwich shop (they contained COOKED tuna, sacrelige) I made it back in time to aid the return of the Parents' furniture, all orange-apholstered and shiny new from their makeover. I suspect it's not the same chairs. There's no cat scratches in the fabric, they can't belong to us.

Now all I have to do is pack up all my important possesions into two suitcases and a few boxes, and give the rest to goodwill. That way I can wholeheartedly say that nohting in my room is for the trash. Even if Margaret thinks otherwise *grumble grumble*

Ah hah, I hear the car, I wanna see Mum's reaction to our new fab furniture.


Monday, August 13, 2001

Hrrrm....Um...K'wyn basically said it all. Go look at her blog. *doesn't know enough html to give a pretty "click here" link*

All I have to add is our skirts are might pouffy. (and we're DEFINATELY not making the silly hat)


Saturday, August 11, 2001

I can't be arsed to blog. meh.

Thursday, August 09, 2001

Not much to add. Chocolate pudding goooooooooood.

Still basking in post garb glory. Though boobs are enjoying freedom of non-garb clothing.

Parents are out dealing death and destruction to the mollusc population of our garden. Anyone know of any hungry hedghogs we could adopt?
Wearing garb round town [check]
Snapping string squeezing self INTO garb [check]
Random children screaming in fright at cleavage [check]
Random people smiling at girls in silly outfits [check]
Random tourists requesting photos with the girls in silly outfits [check, and double check]
Random people asking "Are you in the Festival?" *sigh grumble* [check] (X5)

Feeling feminine and knowing that stick-insects DON'T LOOK AS GOOD IN GARB. [check] :-P

WOOHOO! It's sunny. Well, kinda. OK, so it's not California, but it's as sunny as it gets after a day of greyness. And I've taken decongestant. So maybe my head will calm down.

We're going into town today, getting a lift with my Dad, who's going in to give a radio interview. My Father The Professor. Though he says he's only called in because he's the official Prof of Linguistics of Edinburgh University, so they randomly call him in when there's any kind of language debate. *nodnodnod*

Hrmmm, it looks like we might be going into town wearing Garb. Teehee. I'm going to have a bath, then we'll decide how brave we feel.


Wednesday, August 08, 2001

I'm definately allergic to grey weather. I've had a headache all day. I would almost prefer to have one migraine every month and get it over with. I hate low level achyness. wagh.

We did basically nothing today, but then it was raining heavily on and off all day, so it was a good idea to stay in. The cats were giving us dirty looks all the time, "turn off the WET!!" Poor dumb kitties.

Being hassled to go eat stuff I don't want to. No-one can eat if I'm not there apparently.

Hrmmm, I'm not exactly sunshine and light today. It happens.


Monday, August 06, 2001

*Announcement* I am in less of a nutsky mood today.

Probably because I STARTED in a good mood, so I'm not experiencing a backlash from a shitty morning. I got my diploma today, I had to pick it up form the post office, because it was recorded delivery. It was a really nice sunny morning, so we sat outside with our coffee and Inigo kept us company by hiding under the bench. He was in a "don't touch me, just admire me and give me milk" mood.

K'wyn had a craving for Hot & Sour soup, so we found a Cantonese place for lunch, it was good too, (phew) after which we met Duncan so he could pay me back for the last phone bill. It would have helped if he'd had his cheque-book. "I've brought £20 enough?" This is for a phone bill from march to June, including his calls to France. *pat pat pat* Yes dear, make it more like £250... Gotta love that boy's command of reality. Ok, NOW I need a smoke. Sorry K'wyn, I don't think I'm going to manage 2 days without.

On the up side, K'wyn and I bought ourselves some twee little espresso cups, they were on sale if you bought 4, so we bought 2 identical pairs, and took one of each. One pale green with little daisies, and one white with multicoloured polkadots and a blue saucer. We're so sad. But in a very cute way. We also went to look at coffee presses, or French Presses, which are WAY cheaper here, but we got booted out of the store because it was closing. At 5-30, strange time. That's something I won't miss about the UK.

I loved being able to nip out for coffee at 3 am, or just set up with a text book and index cards and not leave my corner for anything but refills and the loo. Mmmm....all night coffee places. But I won't need em so much, cause I won't have finals week. *trying hard not to look too smug at being a graduate*


Sunday, August 05, 2001

Mmmm...brain not working. What to say? Well I'm glad K'wyn set this up for me to be on my already existing website, I figured it was possible but I know naaaahting of how to set it up. Maybe I'll even get some help polishing my website to make it look less like a pagebuilder special :-¤

Today we went to Castle Gloum (yeah, Castle Gloom) properly called Castle Campbell.

"We wandered around for many days, lost in the forest. Finally we came upon the castle. Or...what was left of the castle I suppose you would say. Anyway, we got to the castle, but sadly...ten minutes after tea time" Thus ends the K'wyn as Billy Crystal as Old Narrator Dude section of the posting.

The way up to the castle used to have a detour where you go along wooden walkways and staircases right next to and over waterfalls and stuff of the "Burn of Cair" (stream of worry to you non scots) "But you see, when we got to the stream...the path...she was closed. So we walked around the long way around to find the path on the other side. She was closed" *Rosie slaps the old Russian narrator dude upside the head to get K'wyn back*

You done now? "maybe yes. maybe no. I tell you later"

*Rosie locates the trapdoor button*


(Rosie pushed the trapdoor button)

No I'm not having a battle with my alter-ego. I'm having a battle with one of K'wyn's. Marginally less insane. Maybe.

The point being, no groovy elfland gorge climbing. But a nice walk anyway, once it was over. *ahem* Hopefully we got some good pictures. And I managed to resist, or avoid buying another pack of smokes, so today has been nicotine free. Which believe me was amazing considering how the day started out. (Rosie getting teased by mother while holding knife, Rosie speedily go for walk before tempted to brandish knife at anything other than dried out cheese. (Rosie also leave K'wyn to the mercy of the cogsci PhD student *tap tap tap*))

Rosie go bed now. Much to do tomorrow. Including trying to get phone money out of Duncan.Yargh. (K'wyn laughs in background) And going into my bank (again) to make sure they really have paid attention to the fact that I no longer live in London.

Take care anyone who bothers to read this.


Wednesday, August 01, 2001

*smiles* haha... command prompt... ftp... we win. *neener neener*